[pek-snif-ee-uh n]

adjective (often lowercase)

hypocritically and unctuously affecting benevolence or high moral principles.

Sometimes Peck·sniff·ish.

Origin of Pecksniffian

1850–55; named after Seth Pecksniff, character in Martin Chuzzlewit, a novel (1843) by Dickens; see -ian
Related formsPeck·sniff·er·y, Peck·sniff·i·an·ism, Peck·sniff·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for pecksniffery



affecting benevolence or high moral principles

Word Origin for Pecksniffian

C19: after Seth Pecksniff, character in Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit (1843)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for pecksniffery



1851, after Mr. Pecksniff, unctuous hypocrite in Dickens' "Martin Chuzzlewit" (1844).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper